From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
Shivaal TharinAlk th'Thane was an only child which was not completely uncommon for many Andorians. He had grown up in a moderately well-to-do merchant and trading family in the capital city of Andoria. Since he could remember he had always been interested in the other cultures and worlds of the Federation. He avidly read the files in the Federation database that he could access on the countless other beings that inhabited the galaxy. He would eagerly listen to the stories that others told of their trips off world and would absorb each of the details and ask questions about what the other people and species were like.
This was one of the main reasons that interested him in joining Starfleet. Doing so seemed to be the right thing to do to him. He had always possessed an innate skill at understanding and repairing devices even if his knowledge of advanced mathematics needed some help. Engineering on Andoria might have been some of the best in the Federation, but it also tended to be of a more practical nature. It seemed to him there was no better place to learn more and use what talents and skills he had than in Starfleet.
Not to sound like a Vulcan, but the choice was also 'logical' to him. His home world of Andoria still had a strong military tradition that was ingrained in its society. This tradition was a part of him. He could have joined the planetary defense force; the Imperial Guard as his four parents had suggested and encouraged him to do, but that would mean never leaving the system and he had always been curious about the galaxy and what was beyond the borders of his world. Starfleet also allowed a way for him to honor the traditions of his planet as a protector and defender.
To his thinking, serving and protecting the Federation was serving and protecting Andoria. To him they were one and the same thing. If the Federation is safe, Andoria is safe as well. When one is safe and prospers, so does the other. The Federation was a large collective group working together for the common good and protection of the individuals as a whole. This was a concept as an Andorian that he could easily understand. To his way of thinking the Federation was an extended family or clan and the whole was stronger than the individual. It also created a sense of mistrust of those that were not a part of the Federation. To his Andorian rationale there were those that were allies and every other power in the galaxy was an enemy or at least a potential enemy to always be suspicious and leery of.
Like most Andorians he was genetically matched with three others early as a child. He found that he was a little intimidated by this as many young Andorians would admit if they were being open. It was not until he got older and finally got to meet and interact with the other three who would form his Kelthreh that he got more comfortable with the idea. To his surprise, though they all had varied interests, talents and views, he found each of them to be people that in any other situation he would want to be friends with, which helped put his mind at ease and open up to them about himself. In many ways he became the center and anchor for the other three as his innate personality was more relaxed and thoughtful. He and the other three were bonded as soon as they all reached adulthood and he participated in shelthreth many times before he left for the Academy. As a young thaan he returned to his home world whenever he could do so to be with the others in his bound whom he cared for very deeply by this point. Any time off or breaks from the Academy he would return home to see his mates, even if it was for a few days.
While at the Academy he immersed himself in his academic studies as well as developing personal interactions with the other cadets. It was here that he started to use the shorted name 'Alk' as it was easier to pronounce in Federation Standard. He made it a point to spend as much time as he could with other species not only because of his own curiosity but because he knew that learning to be comfortable, understand and cooperate with different cultures was important to be successful as an officer. Though he had wanted to go into engineering he was groomed for Starfleet Tactical with a minor in Operations. At first it was not what he desired but soon found that his talents were being well developed and came to appreciate the importance of the duty.
His first assignment had him on the USS Ticonderoga as a junior tactical officer patrolling the area near Tholian space. After two tours on the Ticonderoga he was transferred to Starfleet Headquarters on Earth where he worked at Starfleet Command in the communications center where he provided operational and strategic planning coordination. His daily duties included analyzing updates of shifting non-Federation fleet movements and making recommendations for asset allocations. His insightful and diligent analysis of Romulan fleet activities and their underlying motivations earned him the Starfleet Medal of Commendation.
While at Starfleet Command he did think some of the things that he heard and saw were a little peculiar from time to time or did not make complete sense, but then again he was a junior officer at the time and not one to question orders from flag officers.
Having shown promise and diligence in his work he applied and was approved to attend the Intergalactic Diplomacy Program at Starfleet Academy, which would enable his career to advance and qualify him as a bridge officer. He completed his training and was promoted to Lt. Commander and given an assignment as second officer onboard the USS Exeter. It was during this time that he was awarded the Starfleet Award of Valor for his part in negotiating the release of several Zaranite hydrologists that were held for ransom by some desperate members of the Orion Syndicate.
He was further awarded the Legion of Honor for his assistance in the negotiations of a growing trade dispute between the Federation member world of Cait and the Associate member world of Acamar. Since Acamar had a history and clan structure similar to Andoria and he ended up leading the Federation mediation which led to successful negotiations. This was due in part to his ability to relate and earn the respect the Acamarians and the complex issues social issued that they faced.
During the Dominion War the USS Exeter was moved closer to the front lines near Cardassian space to protect vital Federation trade routes. The Exeter saw some action against Cardassian allied Dominion ships on three separate occasions. Near the end of the war he was involved in the direct negotiation of several Cardassian warships and one full squadron that sought to change allegiance and fight against the Dominion.
It was while he was serving on the USS Exeter that his life changed dramatically. During the last weeks of the Dominion War in 2375 his three bondmates were killed on a transport that was attacked. As of 2381, he had still not completely and fully recovered from the emotional strain of the loss. However he came to a point where the loss is not something that keeps him from carrying out his duties.
As strange as it might have seemed to some, he believed that he actually felt that something was wrong before he was officially notified by his keth of the loss through the Andorian government; there had been a strange and unexplainable uneasiness that had come over him deep inside of him the week before he was given the sad news. Though the loss of one of his bondmates would have been difficult as it would for any bonded Andorian, he would have at least had the other two members to share the grief with and console each other. TharinAlk did not have that consolation or support. He had not only lost his three bondmates that he had shared so much with and been a part of, he had also lost three people that he had known nearly his whole life.
He returned to Andoria in late 2375 after taking a personal leave from Starfleet to attend to matters on Andoria and to overcome his loss. Upon his return to his home world he participated in the Sending of the other three where undid the bonds of the shapla and placed them into empty vessels. The undoing of the shapla nearly broke him with grief. In many ways he felt that he somehow failed his bondmates by not being there to help protect the group, though he knew that there would have been nothing he could have done and that he would have perished senselessly as well. For a long time though he thought in many ways that would have been preferable than the sense of having his three bondmates ripped from him.
During his leave on Andoria he spent his time with some of his extended family and clan members. Before this time he had come to consider the idea of a keth and the social structure of his people based on the old idea of the keth to be outdated, but had come to see that there still was a practical function for it after his loss. After several weeks on Andoria he decided to retreat to an Andorian monastery where he occupied his time reading and meditating in an attempt to try to find a sense of direction for himself and even purpose for himself now that he was alone. He would spend many hours and even disappear for days by himself wandering and exploring many deep ice caves alone. In the end he decided to return to active duty and continue in his career. Starfleet was the only thing now it seemed that gave his life any meaning or purpose now. He also felt that he was doing something that was important still serving in Starfleet and at least there he was not on Andoria where he was reminded constantly that he was alone.
He requested to be placed back on active duty after nearly a year. He was noted at the time of his request as being very good at presentations and recommended to be assigned as an instructor at Starfleet Academy. When assigned to the Academy, TharinAlk did not want or care to be an instructor there and even considered for a few days resigning his commission but his deep sense of duty won out in the end even though he wanted to get back to space duty on board a starship and try to get his career back on track. However he had a duty to fulfill and in some parts he did find it rewarding to pass on what he knew to future officers, though he would have never have admitted that at the time. During his tenure as an instructor in alien protocol and diplomacy at the Academy he became one of those instructors that the cadets dreaded as he held his students to very high standards in all areas.
Towards the end of 2379 he submitted his name to serve on the staff of the Diplomatic team sent to negotiate with the Romulan Empire. Due to his past knowledge with briefings on the Romulans while at Starfleet he felt that he could be helpful. The USS Theurgy was a part of the task force sent to the Neutral Zone, and after hearing about Alk and sitting in on a couple of preliminary planning sessions Captain Jien Ives asked Alk if he wanted to become the Chief Diplomatic Officer on the USS Theurgy, and together with the other representatives from Starfleet, negotiate with the Romulans. Seeing this as a chance to get back to permanent space duty, Alk agreed to become part of the crew on the mission. He knew that this would be a difficult mission as there was much mistrust on both sides. The mission however quickly became unwieldy as the Romulan Empire began to split and plunge into civil war. It soon became apparent that negotiations were not going anywhere and that the Federation would not commit to any side.
After returning to Earth, the truth about Starfleet Command was uncovered.
During the escape of the Theurgy from Earth, Alk died. Thea had barely broken orbit, and made it to the Jupiter defense perimeter, when the unthinkable happened. The perimeter defense grid, designed to deal with threats coming into the solar system, not out of it, had been altered in secret. By the time the Theurgy blew past Jupiter Station, the automated turret deployments had already acquired the ship's profile. While Thea managed to shoulder the brunt of the attack, the ship still took a pounding. Her aft shields fluctuated at just the wrong moment and a torpedo slipped through, impacting the hull, and blowing a hole in it three decks tall.
Assigned to search and rescue operations during a time of crisis such as this, the Diplomatic Department had, as a whole, been gathering together, issuing gear, and preparing to go wherever needed across the dreadnought's many decks. Ironically, it was their divisions main center that got hit by the torpedo burst. Those assigned to come to the aid of others were instead themselves the victims of the attack. And the damage was horrific. Four Diplomatic officers ended up spaced as the hull breached, three more dead from shrapnel before the fires began to flare. Those, blissfully, were brief: fire requires oxygen to burn, and the hull breach sucked the air right out of the chamber. TharinAlk was never seen again.
Alk came across to others as stoic, sometimes gruff, to the point and methodical in his reasoning. The aggressive predisposition he had as an Andorian was as intense as any other, if not more so after the loss of his bondmates but he had always kept it under the surface and channeled it more into his work than letting his aggressiveness express itself in outward displays. This was partially to his own nature and his learning to deal with other species as a Starfleet officer. This gave him a form of intensity and strong determination to whatever task he decided to pursue.
Underneath the surface Alk suppressed a deep anger fueled by his sense of loss. He had enough experience as an officer though, serving with other races in Starfleet, that he had learned to keep any anger or frustrations under control around others and not aggressively show it over small offences or situations. When he did have an aggressive outburst around others, it was usually more subdued than his species was known for. His typical manner was to ball up his fists very tightly or crush an object in his hand and internalize as much of his aggressiveness for release later, though there were still times that he would momentarily loose control. Those that do know him understood that when he did beat his fist on a desk or show his anger that he really was very upset and often in these situations his speech would develop a strong Andorian accent.
After his period of personal leave on Andoria, he decided to return to Starfleet simply from a lack of anywhere else to go at that point in his life. This did not mean he didn't take his duties seriously though, and he was a thoroughly reliable and competent officer. The loss of his Kelthreh had left a deep psychological scar that he felt that he has not fully come to terms with and accepted yet. With no Kelthreh, he felt that he had somewhat failed as an Andorian and felt apart from his keth as well for similar reasons. He was unsure if he would bond again, though the later years, it had become an easier thought for him that it was at first. He had retreated somewhat into a Starfleet 'by the book' reasoning and adherence to protocol which could make him seem stiff at times.
He was proficient with bladed weapons and was a fully qualified small arms expert. Starting with his time on leave he began studying and practicing Alnaav as best as he could when alone. This, initially in order to avenge the death of his bondmates should the opportunity arise, though he knew he would probably not do so. There was a time when he would have attacked and killed any Jem'hadar he met as retribution for the deaths of those he was closest to. Practicing though still gave him some sense of consolation and a sense in his own way that he was honoring those that he'd lost.
TharinAlk was a typical looking Thalassan Andorian with his antennae on the front of his head and like most Andorians his antennae could be quite expressive of his mood, thoughts and feelings. Though his face may not show it so easily. As was typical of his species, TharinAlk had blue skin and white hair which he kept short as an officer. He was of average height and weight for an Andorian and was of good physical build which he maintained through his martial training.
Alk was a qualified specialist in Advanced Arctic Warfare and Survival. His native background gave him a natural edge in this sort of specialization training.
Though he hated being in Zero-G he was fully Zero-G certified. At the Academy he had to force himself to get through the courses and in the end he barely qualified. He found the Starfleet issue helmets for Zero-G operations to be very uncomfortable as an Andorian and Zero-G in general to be disorienting as it threw his senses with his antennae off considerably.
He preferred to eat native Andorian foods and dishes whenever he could though he was not opposed to trying other foods when it was appropriate or courteous to do so. On the whole, though, he would not eat non-Andorian dishes if he could help it. However, while at the Academy, he did develop a taste for a particular human food called a potato, which he later would still think was some kind of earth delicacy. He did prefer them raw, which sometimes got unusual looks from humans and even caused some amusement from his classmates at the Academy.